Paragould, Arkansas 72450
(870) 236-8584
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We Are Here For You

Whether you are a First Baptist Church Member or a visitor, our staff is here to answer your questions, provide guidance or rejoice in the grace of the Lord with you.

Each of our staff members will share their brotherly love and Christian desire to do God's work with you.

Dr. Tony Cherry

Dr. Tony Cherry - Senior Pastor

Bro. Tony came to be the Senior Pastor of the First Baptist Church during the week of Christmas 2015. All of his ministry has been in churches in Arkansas and Missouri. His ministerial passions are preaching, teaching and Vacation Bible School. He is an avid hunter and fisherman and loves to study the American Civil War.

He and his wife, Penne, have been married 35 years and have 2 adult children who also reside in Arkansas. Penne is a pastor's kid (PK) who has been in ministry most of her life. She has been blessed with a passion for service and a beautiful voice.

Favorite verse: 2 Corinthians 4:5 "For we are not proclaiming ourselves but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves your slaves because of Jesus."


Venus Hamilton - Worship Leader

Venus started Piano in 1971 and began playing for her church in 1973. In 1979 she began college, majoring in Music Education and received her degree in 1983. She then began directing the Chancel Choir at Manila FUMC. In 1984, Venus received her Masters degree in Music Education and started teaching grades 7-12 Choral Music and directing the Chancel Choir at Marked Tree FUMC. In 1991, she served as interim choir director at First Baptist Church Paragould and became pianist in January of 1992. She received a Specialist Degree in 1993 and began teaching at Williams Baptist Collage until 2005, at which time she began teaching for the Paragould School District where she continues to reside at this time.

Venus is married to Tim Hamilton and they have one daughter, Sarah Hamilton.

Ty Emery

Ty Emery - Youth Minister

Ty has been at First Baptist since March 2016. His ministry began at the age of sixteen and surrendered to the ministry at seventeen. A year later, Ty became a youth pastor immediately after high school. Ty is a graduate of Williams Baptist College with a Bachelors Degree in Christian Ministries with Youth emphasis. Ty’s passion in the ministry is to unite young believers and strengthen them to not only be the church of tomorrow, but also the church of today.

He and his wife, Elizabeth, have been married since December 2015. Elizabeth is a native of Blytheville and a co-partner in the ministry of students.

Ty enjoys designing and creating t-shirts, gaming, and knowing the “youth pastor secret math formula” for how many pizzas to buy for a set number of students.

Favorite verse: Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

Mike Pekrul

Mike Pekrul - Children's Pastor

Mike became the Children's Pastor in the spring of 2018.

Check back for more info.

Beverly McKinney

Beverly McKinney - Ministry Assistant & Church Clerk

Beverly has been employed at First Baptist Church since January 1, 1992. A native of Paragould and a graduate of Paragould High School. Beverly married Mike McKinney in 1977.

Beverly and Mike have two children, Heather Ellis and Ryan McKinney, as well as two grandchildren, Landen McKinney and Tagan Ellis.

Beverly enjoys being outdoors, attending sporting events and fishing. She also loves cooking and helping others.

Favorite Verse

I can do all thing through him that strengthen me. Philippians 4:13

Debbie Walker

Debbie Walker - Financial Administrative Assistant

Debbie Walker has been the Financial Administrative Assistant at First Baptist Church since November 13, 2000. 

She and husband Hugh have been married for 34 years.  Her life revolves around spending time with family and doing activities with her grandchildren.  Debbie says, "I love the LORD first and foremost, and my desire is to always seek a greater vision of His Sovereignty and to follow His greatest command."

A few of Debbie's favorite Bible verses are

Jeremiah 10:6-10 "No one is like you, O Lord;  you are great...your name is mighty in power...O King of nations...there is no one like you...the Lord is the true God...the living God...the eternal King..."

Jeremiah 11:4..."Obey me and do everything I command you, and you will be my people, and I will be your God."